Who has read the Appendix N books?

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Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:30 pm

I didn't play 1st Edition AD&D, but I've seen various people refer to Gary Gygax's Appendix N list of books that Gary Gygax suggested people read:
Appendix N wrote:
  • Anderson, Poul: THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
  • Bellairs, John: THE FACE IN THE FROST
  • Brackett, Leigh
  • Brown, Frederic
  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice: "Pellucidar" series; Mars series; Venus series
  • Carter, Lin: "World's End" series
  • de Camp, L. Sprague: LEST DARKNESS FALL; THE FALLIBLE FIEND; et al
  • de Camp & Pratt: "Harold Shea" series; THE CARNELIAN CUBE
  • Derleth, August
  • Dunsany, Lord
  • Farmer, P. J.: "The World of the Tiers" series; et al
  • Fox, Gardner: "Kothar" series; "Kyrik" series; et al
  • Howard, R. E.: "Conan" series
  • Lanier, Sterling: HIERO'S JOURNEY
  • Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al
  • Lovecraft, H. P.
  • Merritt, A.: CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al
  • Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
  • Norton, Andre
  • Offutt, Andrew J.: editor of SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III
  • Pratt, Fletcher: BLUE STAR; et al
  • Saberhagen, Fred: CHANGELING EARTH; et al
  • St. Clair, Margaret: THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
  • Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
  • Vance, Jack: THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al
  • Weinbaum, Stanley
  • Wellman, Manley Wade
  • Williamson, Jack
  • Zelazny, Roger: JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" series; et al
How many people on The Piazza have read any of the Appendix N books?

How inspirational do you think each author has been on Dungeons & Dragons?

How many of these authors have had their worlds converted into D&D campaign settings (or non-D&D settings)?

LIST OF CAMPAIGN WORLDS BASED ON APPENDIX N BOOKS: Has anyone created a homebrew campaign based on one or more Appendix N books?
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:30 pm

I've read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But I've not really got further than that. I probably own a few of the books on Appendix N, but the authors don't really jump out at me. (I've not gone out of my way to collect/read their books before.)
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Ashtagon » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:35 pm

I own a copy of The High Crusade. It's basically a story of how an English count stops an alien scout ship that lands on Earth (in England of course), and then goes on to conquer a galactic empire for himself. They lose the map for the way back home, and that paves the way for the second half of the book which focuses on a grail quest style search for Camelot Earth. The coda of the book is a short chapter detailing how Earth eventually makes contact with this empire.

I'd say this makes a decent enough concept for a D&D campaign, and explains a lot of the SF concepts that found its way into early D&D.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Boneguard » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:39 pm

I've read Howard's complete conan (and Kull) serie, Lieber's complete Fafhrd & Grey Mouser, lots of Lovecraft, pretty much everything published by Tolkien related to Middle-Earth (Hobbits, Silmarillion, Lots, the Lay of Hurin, Unfinished tales).

Smith's Hyperborea and Zothique would also fit IMO.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by ghendar » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:57 pm

I've read some Dunsany which is completely bonkers and wonderful stuff. No one wrote fantasy like him, as far as I know.

I've also been buying A. Merritt books when I see them cheap in used book stores. Haven't read any of them yet though.

I've also read some of The Silmarillion. I'll finish it one day :)

Lin Carter and Vance are two authors that I want to check out eventually
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:20 pm

I've read a lot of Tolkien, Howard, Lovecraft, Vance, Leiber, Zelazny, Moorcock. Not much of the others, though.

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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by snorri » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:04 pm

14 of these authors, but some of them haven't been translated in French, which is my native language.

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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by timemrick » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:55 pm

I've read some Dunsany, Derleth, and Norton; all of Howard's "Conan"; some of Lieber's Lankmar stories; the listed Tolkien works (and then some); the first of Zelazny's "Amber" books (and hated it); and pretty much all of Lovecraft's fiction (and much of his poetry). I've also read a scattering of Burroughs, Carter, de Camp, Offutt, and Saberhagen, but not the titles listed.

I think I've also read a tiny bit of Merritt and Wellman, because IIRC, they influenced Lovecraft, so sometimes appear in anthologies with him.

I've yet to read any Anderson or Vance, but am curious about them mainly for their influence on Gygax and D&D.

As for RPG worlds directly based on these works, I've pretty much only used Lovecraft (both the standard Mythos and the Dreamlands).
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:38 am

Definitely haven't read them all, but I have read:

Anderson, Poul: THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: "Pellucidar" series: I've read At the Earth's Core and Pellucidar, and was several chapters into Tanar of Pellucidar when I changed course and started reading some other books. Will get back to this series some time.
Derleth, August: I've read several Derleth stories, though I don't recall which ones offhand.
Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al: I've read all of the Swords and Deviltry collection, and scattered other stories from his other collections.
Lovecraft, H. P.: I have read extensive amounts of Lovecraft. I still need to read the Dream Cycle, though.
Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books): I have read most of Moorcock's classic works, and quite a bit of his modern work, but there are still a lot of things I have not read. To say that he is a prolific author is a major understatement. There were several large paperback collections of Moorcock that came out in the early 2000s, and if you are interested in his work, I would highly, highly recommend seeking them out. I don't know if they are still in print or not (I suspect not), but you might be able to find them in a used bookstore or even possibly on Amazon.

I would also recommend his War Amongst the Angels books, which are really good. More of a modern take on the classical fantasy concepts he wrote about in his swords and sorcery Elric/Hawkmoon/Corum books.

Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy": Read them, enjoyed the Two Towers the best, as I recall. I even tried the Silmarillion once, but couldn't get very far into it. It reminds me a bit of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel from China in that it gets very convoluted trying to remember everyone's names, surnames, pseudonyms, epithets, etc. It becomes extremely confusing, very quickly.

Zelazny, Roger: "Amber" series; et al: Another author whose work I have read extensively. I haven't read Jack of Shadows, but his Amber series (particularly the Corwin Pentad) is one of my favorite series of books, hands down. I have read and reread them more times than I can count.

We don't have a forum for it here, obviously, but you could probably add Amber to your list of "Campaign Worlds" there, as it inspired an entire game setting and some supplementary material (The Amber Diceless role playing game). Some of my most memorable and enjoyable games were Amber DRPG games that were PBEM games I played in college.

ETA: I forgot, I've read some of Andrew J. Offutt's short stories when I read the Thieve's World series many moons ago.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:41 am

Ashtagon wrote:I'd say this makes a decent enough concept for a D&D campaign, and explains a lot of the SF concepts that found its way into early D&D.
I'd add Vance's work to this influence, as well. Aside from the "Vancian magic" concept, even though I haven't actually sat down and read any of Vance's work, I have seen snippets and understand a lot of it is very sci-fi, particularly his Dying Earth books.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:32 am

Ashtagon wrote:I own a copy of The High Crusade. It's basically a story of how an English count stops an alien scout ship that lands on Earth (in England of course), and then goes on to conquer a galactic empire for himself. They lose the map for the way back home, and that paves the way for the second half of the book which focuses on a grail quest style search for Camelot Earth. The coda of the book is a short chapter detailing how Earth eventually makes contact with this empire.

I'd say this makes a decent enough concept for a D&D campaign, and explains a lot of the SF concepts that found its way into early D&D.
I've never really got into the mix of science fiction and fantasy myself, but it's certainly a valid way to go.

I suppose that Night of the Comet has a plot that is fairly similar (in some ways) to The High Crusade. perhaps The High Crusade could be raided for ideas to expand a Night of the Comet campaign.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:39 am

Boneguard wrote:I've read Howard's complete conan (and Kull) serie, Lieber's complete Fafhrd & Grey Mouser, lots of Lovecraft, pretty much everything published by Tolkien related to Middle-Earth (Hobbits, Silmarillion, Lots, the Lay of Hurin, Unfinished tales).
Those are the Appendix N settings that seem to have already made the leap onto the tabletop. (Aside from Kull, which seems to finally be getting there on the back of the recent Conan Kickstarter.)
Boneguard wrote:Smith's Hyperborea and Zothique would also fit IMO.
Smith? I don't know these books. Which Smith are we talking about?

I think there is already a campaign setting called Hyperborea. Is that based on Smith's novel?

What is Zothique? What's the elevator pitch for that?
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:49 am

ghendar wrote:I've read some Dunsany which is completely bonkers and wonderful stuff. No one wrote fantasy like him, as far as I know.
Bonkers huh? Is it bonkers that could work in a tabletop game (like flat worlds or hollow worlds)? Or is it bonkers that would be hard to translate?
ghendar wrote:I've also been buying A. Merritt books when I see them cheap in used book stores. Haven't read any of them yet though.
I've got a ton of unread novels. I should get on with reading them, otherwise I'll probably be dead before I finish them all. :lol:
ghendar wrote:I've also read some of The Silmarillion. I'll finish it one day :)
I've heard that The Silmarillion is hard work. I've not bought it yet. I will buy it on day. I want to buy the black version, as I've got the black versions of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books.
ghendar wrote:Lin Carter and Vance are two authors that I want to check out eventually
I've got at least one Jack Vance book. But I don't file my books by author surname, so I'm not sure I can find it. I don't think I've got anything by Lin Carter.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Boneguard » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:42 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Smith's Hyperborea and Zothique would also fit IMO.
Smith? I don't know these books. Which Smith are we talking about?

I think there is already a campaign setting called Hyperborea. Is that based on Smith's novel?

What is Zothique? What's the elevator pitch for that?
Clark Ashton Smith (CAS).

Hyperborea is a great RPG but it's not set in CAS' Hyperborea. The RPG is more of a Polar Continent with a lot of Pulp Fiction elements (Sorcerer, picts, dwarves, great ape, etc.) While CAS' Hyperborea is Pre-Atlantis Greenland, before it get'some swallow by ice. Where the Voormis roam and Tsathoggua is secretly worshipped...it is also where the Great Dorcerer Ebon lived.

Zothique is on the other end, it is the last continent on Earth far future, the sun cooled down to red glow, Dead (man and cities), necromancy and ghoul-ridden desert is ever present. It's a bleak world with some small sparks of beauty and hope.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:07 pm

snorri wrote:14 of these authors, but some of them haven't been translated in French, which is my native language.
I wonder if a lack of translations is related to the quality of the original books...

...or just the ability of marketing people (or authors or agents) to sell books to publishers in foreign countries.

I know that we get some US stuff imported into the UK, but not other US stuff. (And we buy some dross from the US.) There must be an element of luck about some of this.

It's interesting that the various language barriers stop certain popular parts of culture from getting out of their own countries.

I've got the reverse problem with Chroniques de la Lune Noire (Black Moon Chronicles) which has only partially been translated into English. (And I've not found the English translations, that do exist, yet.)
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:02 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Zelazny, Roger: "Amber" series; et al: Another author whose work I have read extensively. I haven't read Jack of Shadows, but his Amber series (particularly the Corwin Pentad) is one of my favorite series of books, hands down. I have read and reread them more times than I can count.

We don't have a forum for it here, obviously, but you could probably add Amber to your list of "Campaign Worlds" there, as it inspired an entire game setting and some supplementary material (The Amber Diceless role playing game). Some of my most memorable and enjoyable games were Amber DRPG games that were PBEM games I played in college.
You could always post a starter-topic for the Amber roleplaying game in Other Worlds/The Crunchy Bits (depending on if you talk about the setting or system more) and see if there are enough fans of the game for you to work together towards a bespoke forum application. :twisted:
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Illuminatus » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:59 pm

I pretty much grew up on Burroughs and Howard, and have read many of the others over the years.

I think Vance outweighs all the others in terms of his influence on the game. The system of direct, quick, flashy, and effective spells was chosen by Gygax because it is obviously useful in pitched melee, but it puts the entire game system at odds with “subtle-magic” settings like Tolkien’s Middle Earth or Howard’s Hyborian World. Or anything remotely medieval-realistic. If you really extrapolate what a world would be like with fly, teleport, invisibility, ESP, scrying, fireballs, transmute rock to stone, cure disease, raise dead, etc. etc., it’s a whoooole different reality. Less like 11th century and more like 21st with better medicine. (Or as Cthulhudrew notes above, somewhat sci-fi.) The Vancian magic system gives D&D its inevitable default “high fantasy” setting that is hard to mitigate if you’re not really into that sort of thing, and hard to adapt to settings from literature.

I’m not dissing Vance. I love his work…especially the wry character dialogue and his gift for creating exotic cultures with bizarre customs. He clearly loved his anthropology. His Dying Earth setting is for me right up there with the Hyborian World and Burrough’s Barsoom as one of the most unforgettable and evocative fantasy/sci-fi settings. He also had a gift for creating names, and I once went through some Vance novels just to copy down lists of names that I could drop when DMing. Coming up with good names at the drop of a hat is one of my weaknesses.

Anywho, I wanted to add a suggestion for those who have had a hard time cracking the Silmarillion. Skip the beginning, which is the equivalent of the Old Testament book of Genesis. Maybe start with “Of Turin Turambar,” one of the best stories in the book and see if that gets you hooked. Or better yet, get the book “The Children of Hurin,” which treats the Turin story in more detail but you won’t feel like you’re dropping in in the middle of something. It’s all still name-heavy and flowery, but the tragic tales of mortal men are much more relatable than odes to the immortals.

While on the topic of flowery language, I want to give a shout out to E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ourobouros. It’s written in an Elizabethan style that has turned off some of my friends (although it’s beautiful and appropriate to the aristo characters), but it’s one heck of a classic sword-and-sorcery epic and should be on the list.

Also - another TSR-related tome - I just finished the first novel of Baker’s Tekumel series, Man of Gold. I mainly read it out of curiosity about the Empire of the Petal Throne game, which has always been a tantalizing mystery to me, but it was actually quite good.

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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by BlackBat242 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:58 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:ETA: I forgot, I've read some of Andrew J. Offutt's short stories when I read the Thieve's World series many moons ago.
App. N was referring more to both AJO's pastiches of Robert E. Howard's characters as well as the following pre-1979 fantasy works (I included later ones in series for completeness):

Cormac Mac Art (REH character)
1. The Sword of the Gael (1976)
2. The Undying Wizard (1976)
3. The Sign of the Moonbow (1977)
4. The Mists of Doom (1977)
5. When Death Birds Fly (1980) (with Keith Taylor)
6. The Tower of Death (1982) (with Keith Taylor)

Conan
Conan and the Sorcerer (1978)
The Sword of Skelos (1979)
Conan the Mercenary (1985)

War of the Wizards (with Richard K Lyon)
1. Demon in the Mirror (1977)
2. The Eye of Sarsis (1980)
3. Web of the Spider (1981)

Messenger of Zhuvastou (1973)
Ardor on Aros (1973)
The Black Sorcerer of the Black Castle (1974)
Chieftain of Andor (1976)
aka Clansman of Andor
My Lord Barbarian (1977)

Anthologies edited
Swords Against Darkness (1977)
Swords Against Darkness IV (1979)
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by ghendar » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:46 pm

Big Mac wrote:
ghendar wrote:I've read some Dunsany which is completely bonkers and wonderful stuff. No one wrote fantasy like him, as far as I know.
Bonkers huh? Is it bonkers that could work in a tabletop game (like flat worlds or hollow worlds)? Or is it bonkers that would be hard to translate?
There is definitely stuff in Dunsany that is poachable.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:18 am

Big Mac wrote:I think there is already a campaign setting called Hyperborea. Is that based on Smith's novel?
Could be. There is also Hyboria, which is Conan related, though. Sometimes the two get confused. It may also just be a pseudo-historical fantasy campaign setting (based on the legendary Hyperborea of the Greeks).
What is Zothique? What's the elevator pitch for that?
Zothique is a post-apocalyptic, far future magical Earth ruled by Necromancers. CAS wrote a handful of short stories set there (3 or 4, I'd have to double check.)
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:22 am

Big Mac wrote:You could always post a starter-topic for the Amber roleplaying game in Other Worlds/The Crunchy Bits (depending on if you talk about the setting or system more) and see if there are enough fans of the game for you to work together towards a bespoke forum application. :twisted:
I bet there probably is some interest in it out there, especially as a lot of the old Amber fansites seem to have gone the way of the dodo, especially since AmberMUSH finally kicked the bucket (sadly). :(

That said, I haven't played it in years, so I don't know that I'm the right person to start up discussions. Still, something to consider, so I may change my mind and see if anyone chimes in.
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:38 am

Here's what I've read from Appendix N:
Poul Anderson's 3 Hearts & 3 Lions, The Broken Sword
ERB's John Carter of Mars (books 1-5)
Lin Carter - a LOT of Lin Carter's stuff not in Appendix N
L. Sprague deCamp - A LOT of stuff not in Appendix N
Lord Dunsany "King of Elfland's Daughter" is indeed bonkers. The story should've ended before Orion went a-unicorn hunting with his hounds. I have yet to finish it, and its a long slog when you're narcoleptic.
Philip Jose Farmer - "World of Tiers" book 1, LOTS of other books, esp. "Riverworld"
Gardner Fox - some books IDR, not anything here, unfortunately
REH's - a scattershot collection of Conan books, novels and collections
Fritz Leiber - a scattershot collection of Fafrd & Grey Mouser books
HP Lovecraft - various, forgotten titles (thank the Gawds!)
Moorcock - Hawkmoon, Jewel int he Skull, City of the Beasts
Andre Norton - Quag Keep - a LOT of her early science fiction books
JRR Tolkien - Silmarrillion, Hobbit, LotR, Reader, Lost Tales
Jack Vance - Dying Earth
Manly Wade Wellman! I bought a book years ago, because I wanted to read a book by some guy named "Manly Wade". IDR the book...
Jack Williamson - IDR

What I didn't get, and still don't to this day, is that the reading list in Moldvay's Basic D&D rules list a much more comprehensive list than the DMG had.

Lewis Carroll, Frank L. Baum, Ursula K. LeGuin, CS freakin Lewis! Piers Anthony, Robert Lynn Asprin, Tanith Lee, Larry Niven, Clark Ashton Smith, Mary freakin Stewart! Bram Stoker, TH White! :mrgreen:
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

genghisdon
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Re: Who has read the Appendix N books?

Post by genghisdon » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:19 am

I imagine most here have read some. I certain have, most of the authors & in several cases, most or all their works.

Zelazny has, as noted, a game based on Amber. He also played pen & paper RPGs himself.
Moorcock has Stormbringer & Elric games, as well as Corum & Hawkmoon based games/settings.

Many on the list have & had great influence on the game, both directly & later, indirectly.

I've run homebrew games in at least half of them, in addition to those "officially" published for play. I'm sure 1000's of others have done so as well, or else taken much from them (& later authors).

If you want another old school list of books, the B/X basic book has an even better listing than the oft-touted appendix N

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